A Calgary Man Got Third-Degree Burns When an E-Cigarette Battery Exploded in His Pocket

“His vaping days are over.”

by Manisha Krishnan
Feb 27 2017, 5:02pm

Lead image via GoFundMe

A Calgary man was badly burned Friday night after an e-cigarette battery exploded in his right pocket.

Terrence Johnson, 32, had been out downtown for dinner with his wife Rachel Rex and was just leaving the restaurant when something in his pocket burst into flame. A Global News video shows Johnson standing outside with his wife and a restaurant staffer when all of a sudden a huge flash comes from his right leg.

A lithium e-cigarette battery in Johnson's pocket had reportedly come into contact with with coins, causing it to overheat and explode, which can happen when the circuitry inside the battery is damaged.

Johnson was taken to Foothills hospital. He has third-degree burns on this leg, where his polyester underwear melted and fused to his thigh, and second-degree burns on his right hand, which he used to try to stop the flames.

His wife told Global he will likely need a skin graft.

"We had heard about the actual devices exploding but never knew the risk of the batteries," she said. "It was horrific and needless to say, his vaping days are over."

According to a GoFundMe page, both Johnson and Rex are now off work due to medical reasons.

Read more: Vape at Your Own Risk

Johnson isn't the only Albertan to fall victim to an e-cigarette related accident.

Last year, an e-cigarette exploded in the face of teenager Ty Greer when he went to light it, leaving him with second-degree burns and broken teeth. Greer's father said his son "wanted to die" from the pain.

The vaping industry has been criticized for its lack of regulations, something the federal government has said it plans to amend.

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